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of Christ's church from another, but in choosing such as are derived from the names of distinguished men, as if parties regarded themselves rather as the followers of Arius or Athanasius, of Luther or Calvin, of Socinus, Wesley, and others, than as the common disciples of one great Master, the members of only one rightful Head, Jesus Christ. Another fault, not less pernicious in its operation and results, is the associating with sectarian appellations, ideas of moral, not intellectual, differences; the regarding some of them as significant of all that is divine, and others of all that is demoniac; the applying to those who differ from us, terms which they do not themselves regard as just, and at the same time using them as nicknames, or words of reproach, as the representatives of impiety, blasphemy, and irreligion. But that such denominational terms as Unitarian and Trinitarian, or Unitarian Christian and Trinitarian Christian, should excite feelings of rancor and ill-will amongst the various branches of the universal church, and be employed as synonymous with infidelity, idolatry, or antichristianity, is surely as unreasonable and improper as it would be to use the national distinctions of Frenchman and Spaniard to signify that these people are the natural enemies of Englishmen and Americans, and that they are, and ever will be, unworthy of belonging to the human race, to the family and brotherhood of man.

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Party spirit, in that sense in which I have spoken of it as a thing to be wholly renounced and sedulously shunned in religious matters, consists in a general, indefinite conformity to the views and practices of some party, a zeal for the advancement of that party and the promotion of their objects, generally, and without limitation either of the time or of the objects themselves. . . . We are right when the objects proposed are in themselves good, and when these, and the means by which they are promoted, are distinctly specified: we are right in associating together for such purposes, provided we are careful to guard our minds against the insensible, insidious encroachments of party spirit; against being unconsciously led beyond the defined limits; so as to bind ourselves, in any thing that concerns religion, by an indefinite, general allegiance to any man or set of men.

.. If any one joins a regularly-formed religious association for the distributing of Bibles and other selected books, and for other such specified purposes, he does not bind himself to a general conformity of sentiments and practice in other points, with each other, or even with the majority of the members, but preserves his original independence. But it is otherwise if a man allows himself to be considered as belonging to a party, and as conforming indefinitely to their general views, their prevailing tone of sentiment, and their established practice. He may flatter himself, indeed, that, whenever he may see reason to

disapprove of any of these, he can withdraw. But the odium he would incur by such a step is but too likely to make him hesitate at taking it; and in the meantime, while hesitating, he is drawn on by little and little to acquiesce in, and ultimately to countenance, much that he would originally, and judging for himself, have shrunk from. ARCHBISHOP WHATELY: Essays on Dangers to Christian Faith, pp. 92, 94–5, 97–8.

The divisions of the Christian church are undoubtedly much to be deplored. They present a most unseemly appearance to the world, of that religion which may be said to be "one and indivisible." They imply much imperfection on the part of its professors, occasion great stumbling to unbelievers, and impair the energy and resources which might be advantageously employed in assailing the common enemy. The causes of these divisions are to be sought in the ignorance, the weakness, and the prejudices of Christians; in indolent submission to authority on one part, and the love of influence on another; in the power of early habits and associations; and, above all, in the influence of a worldly spirit, which warps and governs the mind in a thousand ways. WILLIAM ORME, in his edition of Baxter's Practical Works, vol. i. pp. 97, 98.

At that period [the period of the Reformation], Christians of every class and party believed that gross religious errors were punishable by the civil magistrate, a Popish doctrine which they had not yet renounced, and which, it is to be feared, is not even to this day and in the most enlightened part of the world, exterminated from the breasts of all Protestants. By cherishing such a principle, they betray the best of causes, furnish occasion for the most injurious representatations of Christianity, and, instead of proving that they have learned of their Master, who was "meek and lowly of heart," show that they imitate the misguided disciples who were for calling down fire from heaven. ·DR. F. A. Cox: Life of Melancthon, pp. 279–80.

Party spirit in religion is another spurious proof of piety. . . . Whenever men act together, the mind, by one of its mysterious powers, sees a new being in the union, and soon forms almost a personal attachment for it. It enlists men's pride and ambition, and arouses all their energies; and devotion to this imaginary existence becomes often one of the strongest passions of the human mind. It is one of the sins to which the human heart is most prone, and in which it is most impregnable. A man usually thinks it a virtue. He sees he is not working for himself, and persuades himself that it is the

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principles of his party which are the object of his attachment. But this is not the case; for, when these principles spread partially into other parties, he is always displeased. He is never satisfied at seeing his opponents coming to the truth: they must come over to his side. This . . . spirit burns everywhere in the Christian church: it influences parish against parish, and society against society, and makes each denomination jealous and suspicious of the rest. It frowns upon the truth and the Christian prosperity which is not found within its own pale. It is the spirit of intolerance and exclusion. "We found one," it

says, "casting out devils in thy name, and we forbade him because he followeth not us." Banish this spirit for ever. If men will "cast out devils," no matter whom they follow: they must do it, if they do it at all, in Jesus' name, and no matter for the rest. We must not frown upon real piety or truth, because they do not appear in our own uniform. JACOB ABBOTT: The Corner-stone, pp. 198–200.

The bigots of an earlier age [the Jews of Christ's time] were accustomed to speak of themselves as chosen of God, before all meaner creatures, holy and clean; while the Gentile nations were sinners beyond the reach of salvation, reprobate dogs. And why was this? It was because they, like the Pharisees of modern times, clung to the dogma, “out of their church, no salvation;" the latent principle of death in all those sects which have embraced, or ever do embrace, such a creed.......Every man is to be esteemed who honestly endeavors to give a reason for his belief, and claims the freedom of its peaceful enjoyment, however mistaken or absurd he may be. To despise the intellect of another, to hint his want of integrity, or to ridicule his convictions of right, is but poor evidence either of philosophical judgment or Christian charity. The spirit that leagued with an emperor and excited him to murder the Anabaptists of Munster, burned Servetus at Geneva, hunted Roger Williams beyond the boundaries of civilization with no less savage rage, persecuted the elder Carroll in Maryland, and more recently burned the convent at Charlestown, as well as the churches of Philadelphia, is part and parcel of the bigoted priestcraft that dug the prisons of Venice and erected the Inquisition in Spain. Milton had good reason for asserting, that "Presbyter is but old priest writ large." E. L. MAGOON: Republican Christianity, pp. 131, 259.

The refusal to exercise forbearance, and the attempt to ensure a complete uniformity, tend necessarily to produce, and, in the past history of the church, have actually produced, consequences the most

injurious and deplorable. While the conduct in question involves an audacious invasion of the prerogatives of Jesus Christ, by making new laws for his church, it tends inevitably to introduce those very strifes and divisions which it professes to avert; it checks free inquiry, and nurses a spirit of tame and slavish submission to human authority; it leads the professors of religion to fix their regards chiefly on subordinate topics and sectarian peculiarities, to the neglect of the vital truths of the gospel and "the weightier matters of the law;" it arrests the current of brotherly love, or turns it into a wrong channel, by diverting it towards those who reflect our own views and sentiments rather than towards those who exhibit conspicuously the lineaments of the Saviour's lovely image. All these baleful effects it has actually produced to a frightful extent; and, in addition, it has sometimes occasioned the practice of an unprincipled laxity; for the members of the same church have contented themselves with an agreement in a form of words, while yet they differed, and knew that they differed, in sentiment; thus tolerating or practising vile dissimulation to avoid an avowed and honest forbearance. — DR. ROBERT BALMER : The Scripture Principles of Unity; in Essays on Christian Union, pp. 51, 52.

To avoid doing an apparent injustice to Dr. Balmer, we have given the latter sentence; but, though heartily agreeing with him in his disapproval of "an unprincipled laxity" and "vile dissimulation" as to matters of theo-. logical opinion, we cannot help thinking that the less a church interferes respecting the private sentiments of its members, and the more it attends to the purity of their conversations and lives, the better will it be for the true interests of Christianity, and for the peace and happiness of man.

Disputants are loudest and fiercest where God says least. Notwithstanding the power of public opinion in restraining on platforms, and in the pulpit, the exhibitions of a wretched sectarian and proselytizing spirit, the demon is not cast out, and appears even more horrid when it is seen looking from beneath the veil of an angel. Party spirit descends meekly from the pulpit, and takes its station at the head of the Lord's table, and from thence excommunicates many of the Lord's people, whom a few minutes before it pronounced to be brethren in Christ Jesus. The feast of love is made the feast of schism; and evangelical denominations, within the walls of their own temples, are as much keen partisans, excommunicating each other, as if there was no common ground on which they could meet, and as if all but themselves were given over to Satan. .

Bigotry and

sectarianism are still hot and scorching; only they are now ashamed of their real nature, and have put on various disguises, connected more or less with an assumption of extraordinary strictness and piety. When the men of the world see professing Christians broken up into little parties, which seem to hate each other in the inverse ratio in which they are agreed on the great cardinal points of their religion, they are naturally led to consider Christianity as based, to a considerable extent, upon pride and priestcraft. When they meet with the same rivalships and jealousies among saints that they meet with among secular men, they judge of them by the same standard. When sect "clashes with sect as harshly and unkindly as political factions" do, they consider all religious divisions as no better than a strife for power, drive all schismatics out of their presence, and turn aside altogether from what they consider a lurking, biting, phrenetic religion. The bitterness with which theologians will speak and write of each other, and the rancor and solemnity with which they will excommunicate each other at the head of the Lord's table, while yet they are confessedly one in Christ Jesus, is to worldly politicians a matter of utter loathing.- DR. GAVIN STRUTHERS: Party Spirit, its Prevalence and Insidiousness; in Essays on Christian Union, pp. 381, 385, 391, 439-40.

The deplorable workings and effects of the sectarian spirit are pointed out with much impartiality in the Essay from which we have made the above extract, and are shown not to be peculiar to the Roman Catholic church, but to prevail in the English and Scotch establishments, and in the various "evangelical" bodies, particularly in North Britain, which have dissented from Papal and Protestant Episcopacy. Surely, if men who, forgetful of the benevolent spirit of the Master whom they profess to serve, and of the whole genius of his religion as contained in the New Testament, look down with supercilious pride upon such of their brethren as disagree with them merely in forms of church government and in subordinate points of faith, —if such men, to whom Christ's commandment of love seems to be still almost literally "new" or unheard of, have any just claim to be called his disciples, or regarded as members of his invisible church, surely, those whom they pronounce to be heterodox or unevangelical, but who, notwithstanding, "love the Lord Jesus in sincerity," and, remembering his precept," By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another," would not confine their affections and their sympathies to their own narrow circle, but would extend them to all who " name the name of Christ, and depart from iniquity,"—surely, these may humbly hope that the great Founder of the universal church will permit them to sit at his feet as docile and reverent disciples, to learn more of his heavenly mind, and drink richer draughts of his holy and benign spirit.

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